“One dead every 15 seconds.” This cheery bit of information was provided by the narrator on a program called “The World Wars” on the History channel. It was in reference to World War I which must have been a good time what with all the machine guns, mustard gas and such. I watched the scenes depicting trench warfare enviously. The soldiers were all together shoulder to shoulder. They were outside in big groups. Oh sure, they were dying miserable, heinous deaths but at least they had friends nearby. I began watching the program because I can no longer watch the news with the constant beating of the Coronavirus drum followed by political finger pointing. Social media hasn’t been a big cheer-me-up either. Go figure that watching stories about the two deadliest events in human history was more pleasant than current doom and gloom coverage or browsing the internet.
This is day number 23 of waiting out the Corona Virus. Or is it 230? I’m not really sure. The only thing I do know is we have a long way to go. Anyway, I’ve kept some notes along the way and thought I’d share.
March 13th (Day #1)
I decided to work from home. My employer was a bit behind the 8 ball on this. Despite COVID-19 knocking at the proverbial door in Malvern, Chester County. The corporate response team announced yesterday that “We’ll be making a decision about working remotely in a few days“. What!? This bit of news was like passengers on the Titanic hearing that a rescue ship would arrive early next week. I decided to act and stay home. My team is scattered throughout the corners of the globe and I spend 90% of my time talking remotely to people anyway.
Hey! I got this.
March 16th (Day #4)
We got an e-mail from work today that we are to work from home until the end of March. I guess reality has hit home. Meanwhile, work is going well. I haven’t missed the long commute yet nor do I expect to. I feel productive and we are getting a lot done.
Today Governor Wolf asked everyone to go the liquor store. Well, technically he said that the state run liquor stores would be closing indefinitely after today. Needless to say as the idea of being stuck at home with family and no liquor sunk in, everyone rushed off to clear the shelves, including me. There must have been about 200 people in the store when I was there. #SocialDistancing.
March 17th (Day #5)
My face is itchy. Hmmm. Perhaps I should shave and maybe put on a clean shirt. I think I’ve been wearing this one a while.
March 19th (Day #7)
We went for groceries today. It took a while to remember how to use a car. The good news is I’m not spending a lot of money on gas and tolls anymore. That’s good because toilet paper and rubbing alcohol might be more valuable than gold soon.
We got a new e-mail from the work task force. Working remotely is now mandatory until at least April 30th. Offices are closed! I think we should have locked everyone in their houses a long time ago. We’d have really cranked out some good work!
March 23rd (Day #Whatever)
I smelled a funny odor in the house today. It was present throughout the house. I walked into each room sniffing, trying to find the source. I walked into the living room and looked inquisitively at my wife asking if she smelled it too. “Not until just now”, she said.
On a related note, I put on clean jeans today.
Berks County is now officially under Stay-At-Home orders. This means what it sounds like. We are supposed to stay-at-home except for anything essential to life. It’s getting real now although apparently some people’s interpretation for “essential to life” is different than others.
We escaped the house for a bit and waxed the motorhome this weekend. Hey, relax there social distancing police!
Our motorhome is in a private storage bay. We are more quarantined there then if we locked ourselves in the bathroom at home. We now have the shiniest motorhome nobody will see all summer.
♫ La la le le la la!♩
The Governor has now expanded the stay-at-home order to the whole state. This is supposed to mean everyone stay-at-home. Of course, some things need to be open and some people need to work. To accommodate this, the Commonwealth provided a list of business types considered “life sustaining”. There is also an exception process for those businesses that are shuttered and believe they are life-sustaining.
Here are some interesting entries on the “approved” list:
- Bakeries and Tortilla Mfg – Good to know Tortillas, specifically, are life sustaining.
- Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers – At least the Governor isn’t cruel.
- Fishing, Hunting – See? I’ve been telling my wife for years these are life-sustaining.
This order runs until at least April 30th. I suspect it will go much longer than that but people probably don’t have much appetite for hearing stay-at-home until the leaves start to turn on the trees.
One business not considered life-sustaining is barber shops. I don’t have much hair left, but if not cut regularly I start to look like the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert. It’s been oft suggested that I should just shave the rest off. That may be happening at least for now.
I’m pretty sure the deer heads on the wall are looking at me. I spend about 10-12 hours a day in my office mostly working. I suspect this has been going on for a while, but each time I look up they look away. I thought I heard one whisper “How much longer do you think he’ll be here”?
My wife and I are doing our part. We can’t stay-at-home any harder than we are. I am fortunate I am able to work from home and am still employed. (Time will tell if that lasts.) We do get out to the grocery store for essentials and we do both exercise (walking or running locally). In those small travels mostly around our development I am amazed by the businesses I see that must be considered “life sustaining”. We’ve seen groups of landscapers planting flowers and mulching, window washers working on residences, and a team of guys sealing a driveway. I can hear the conversations between doctors and nurses in the ICU.
Nurse: “Doctor if we don’t act quickly the patient will die! Should we get him on a ventilator and try that hydroxychloroquine?
Doctor: “No nurse. First let’s try getting the windows washed, and perhaps some nice pansies planted. If that doesn’t work we’ll get the driveway sealed and go from there.”
If I hear one more person say “We’ll all get through this together” I may shove a grill fork up their nose.